By Zoe Fuimaono, Blessed in Doubles for LEGO DUPLO
Juggling being a busy mother to two sets of twins, being a woman in business and a wife, all whilst trying to find that middle ground and a sense of balance, has always been an internal struggle for me. I think it’s an ongoing struggle for most millennial mamas who are constantly trying to do it all, while figuring out what works for them.
Whether we are at home with the kids or out in the workforce, we are constantly asking ourselves am I doing enough? Are my children getting enough of my attention? What else can I do to be more present? Questions I’m sure a lot of mothers reading this would have asked themselves. And it’s also a question I am constantly asked: “How do you do it all?”.
I sometimes find that question a really hard one because this is my life, I just do it. But I know there is so much more to it than that, and that’s why I’m here writing this little spiel so I can give you some insight as to how I try to find a balance not just for myself but for my family and how I prioritise my time.
We all know the saying, life is all about balance. But how do we really truly find that balance? For me it’s all about the four Ps – planning, preparation, peace and play. I like to know what I’m doing, how I’m going to achieve it and to recognise when everything is getting too much, so I can just stop and take a step back from it all.
When it comes to planning we have a weekly food planner on our wall. I write down all the meals we will eat for the week including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and plan a shopping list. Whenever I do this I feel so prepared, and when I don’t I honestly feel like my life is in shambles. Having that structure, especially, around food, and knowing what to eat and when is such a relief, even more so when you don’t have to think about it.
I love the saying, preparation is the key to success, because honestly when I am prepared everything seems to fall into place. I’m less stressed, I know what’s going on and I actually get things done. I’m such a procrastinator (another P!), so for me being prepared is really important. I don’t plan and prepare for every second of the day but when I have a rough idea of what I’m doing in advance, my life doesn’t feel so chaotic. I do little things like prepare an extra batch of food when cooking, or get the kids PJs all ready before they get home so once they’ve had dinner it’s bath time, teeth brushed, books read and bed. It’s all about trying to make life that little bit easier.
Then we all need our peace. I know I need to take my own time out, now and then. So take a break, give yourself that time to relax. Maybe it’s over a nice cup of tea, running yourself a bath or spending more time doing your makeup – whatever it is, make sure you find those mini breaks for yourself throughout the day.
Last but certainly not least, is the need to play. This is probably the most important thing – knowing when to take a step back and say, no more work. Don’t worry about the house chores or the fact that dinner isn’t on. Just take the time to get in there and spend time with the kids. When we are spending time together we love playing with our LEGO DUPLO. For me it brings back amazing memories of when I was younger and I would spend hours playing and building. The opportunities to build things seemed endless. Fast forward 20 odd years and I still get the same feelings, it still gets my imagination going and now my kids’ imagination. Watching all of our children’s minds fizz and tick with excitement as they build, makes my heart sing and honestly I really get into building (sometimes more than them!).
Often all we need to do is sit down for an hour and put our screens away, close the laptop and switch the TV off and just hang out with our kids and play. Moments like building with DUPLO bricks offers us this opportunity to create and connect together. We can learn so much from our babies by simply watching them play. I know I have. I’ve learnt patience, I’ve learnt to let go of expectations and to just switch off and completely delve into a project and let my imagination do the thinking for once. When we get the LEGO DUPLO out and it makes that crazy fun sound when being tipped out, I know we are all going to have fun as a family. Seeing their eyes light up when Mummy and Daddy sit down and take time out from our hectic life and just completely focus on them is the best feeling in the world.
As I’ve learnt from LEGO, play is the most natural way for our kids to learn and is a major part of their development. Play-time helps us parents create special memories with our little ones and gives us the chance to fully connect with them. It doesn’t matter if we can’t spend hours and hours playing with our kids, as long as we make sure we are fully present in those moments when we play with them, they will feel it back. In turn our kids can feel confident to create and express themselves. And that’s a milestone my hubby and I want for our kids.
At the end of the day we are all doing our best, even if you feel like you aren’t doing enough, you are! It is so important to take time out to prioritise, nurture and be kind to not just our children but most importantly ourselves. Know and affirm to yourself that you are doing an incredible job, because you are.
This article was written by Zoe Fuimaono who blogs at Blessed in Doubles whilst raising two sets of twins under the age of four.
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